Annie Saunders

In fall 2019, director and immersive-theater-maker Annie Saunders asked me to design the interactive lighting system for an experiential work bringing attention to domestic violence and abuse in the home. The team Annie assembled worked together on a fully functional and furnished house in the middle of The Oculus in NYC’s World Trade Center.

From the website:

Annie Saunders created a gripping, emotionally moving immersive experience combining audio gathered from interviews with real survivors of domestic abuse with a maze-like installation set in a 1600 sq ft house built at the heart of the Oculus in NYC’s financial district.

The house, from the outside an iconic representation of the American “home,” appeared overnight in the arcade of the Oculus.

Open to the public, the experience took participants one-by-one through the front door of the house into an interior that stripped away the pretense of the idyllic family home to reveal the complicated, multi-layered, and life and death struggle of someone caught in a cycle of domestic abuse.

The experience culminated with each participant having the opportunity to meet with a domestic abuse counselor to help them process and integrate the emotionally charged experience they had just completed. In addition to the 2-day experience, Saunders directed a short companion film.